Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jeffrey Jones

Though Jeff's site may or may not be well-designed depending on who you ask, it has a cleanliness and consistency that is of vital importance. And, more importantly, this is the work of Jeffrey Jones.

Jeffrey has been very painful for me to talk about for a very long time. He was a hero, artistically, and now in many highly personal ways, which I have no intention of dealing with here. Though the key element is that Jeffrey had sex-reassignment surgery (and I've never been able to figure out what gender pronoun to use, and Jeff didn't seem to worried about it). The story of our meeting is also interesting, though long, and typical of what it is about him that is so endearing and enduring. That is too long a story to tell here.

Jeffrey is one of our greatest painters, a legend in the comics and fantasy world, and one of the precious few who have escaped the comics gutter to become a real artist and a real person.

He was of monumental importance to my development, moreso to my healing as a self-loathing artist. The short version of the story is that I do not value the opinions of many when it comes to my art, perhaps the opinions of one in a hundred people--it's easy to dazzle people who can't draw, or worse, people who think they can draw but can't--and his opinion I valued above all others, including my own. I had once shown Jeff a piece of mine that I had doubted, even going so far as to point out what about the piece bothered me, he looked at the drawing of the face in question and told me there was nothing wrong with it, and that it was good. At that moment I put away my self-doubts and said to myself, "If it's good enough for Jeff Jones, it's good enough for me." On my worst days as an artist that has become my motto.

Then, Jeff vanished.

Jeff just fucking vanished.

And I miss Jeffrey a lot. Jeff was a good friend, and a great mentor.

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